Kentucky Derby Power Rankings: Week of March 24

Jeff Gross

Here's your ADTSC Top Ten for the week of March 24. Expect some changes after an exciting weekend that includes the UAE, Florida, and Louisiana Derbies!

1. Itsmyluckyday (9.75 points)

This colt's been at the top of our rankings for a few weeks now, and today he'll get a chance to validate the hype. He'll take on some of the toughest competition in the country in the Grade I Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park, including Shanghai Bobby and Orb. This son of Lawyer Ron heads to the track being the early favorite, but a win won't come easy. If he outruns his rivals Saturday, he'll most likely be a Derby favorite the rest of spring.

2. Verrazano (9.00 points)

Race fans will be forced to wait a few days to see Todd Pletcher's newest golden goose defend his elite status. But defend it, he will. Verrazano has worked mildly since his impressive victory March 9 in the Grade II Tamp Bay Derby. His four furlong breeze at Palm Meadows clocked in at a relaxed 49.79 seconds (20/43), being his first workout since his last start. Verrazano will most likely post-up against an undefeated counterpart in Vyjack in the Wood, along with Derby hopefuls Always in a Tiz and Mr. Palmer.

3. Oxbow (6.00 points)

Even after being defeated by fellow Lukas trainee Will Take Charge in the Grade II Rebel Stakes March 16, Oxbow grabs a top-three rank. This son of Awesome Again has taken a while to develop and has shown inconsistency, but may be peaking at the right time. He posted a bullet drill both immediately before and after his second-place finish in the Rebel. He looks to be one of the fittest horses in the Derby field, and is currently preparing for a final Derby prep in the Grade I Arkansas Derby April 13 at Oaklawn Park.

4. Orb (5.25 points)

Trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. has stated he would enter Orb cautiously in the Grade I Florida Derby, making sure the conditions are right for his colt who has all but cinched-up a spot in the Kentucky Derby. Of course, Plesa has also hinted that he may need to see another dominant performance from the Malibu Moon colt to be comfortable with his Triple Crown chances. Should he run in the Florida Derby Saturday, Orb will break from the middle of the pack in post 6. He's currently being made the third betting choice at 3-1, behind Itsmyluckyday (2-1) and Shanghai Bobby (5-2).

5. Vyjack (4.50 points)

Trainer Rudy Rodriguez continues to be absent from the racetrack due to a suspension from the New York State Gaming Commission. That doesn't seem to be having much of an effect on his undefeated trainee, Vyjack, who's posted a pair of bullets at six and five furlongs in the past two weeks. The Into Mischief colt loos set to take on rivals in the Wood Memorial April 6 at Aqueduct.

6. Will Take Charge (3.88 points)

This son of Unbridled's Song thrust himself squarely onto the Derby stage after taking the Grade II Rebel Stakes on March 16. Always seeming to play second-fiddle to his fellow Lukas trainee Oxbow, Will Take Charge now looks to be firmly in the Derby picture with 60 points under the new qualification system. Lukas hasn't divulged on whether or not he'll send out Will Take Charge for another prep before the first Saturday in May, but the Grade I Bluegrass Stakes at Keeneland is a possible next landing spot.

7. Shanghai Bobby (3.75 points)

The two-year old champ finally gets his shot at redemption Saturday, in the Grade I Florida Derby at Gulfstream. He's prepared more intensely in recent weeks with his most impressive workout being a five furlong breeze in 1:00.14 (2/26) at Palm Meadows on March 17. Should Bobby beat out his rivals in the Florida Derby, he'll likely be a top-three Triple Crown hopeful once again.

8. Goldencents (2.50 points)

After a disappointing run in the San Felipe Stakes March 9, Goldencents will seek a much-needed quality Derby prep win April 6 in the Grade I Santa Anita Derby. The Doug O'Neill trainee clocked an impressive bullet workout yesterday, going six furlongs in 1:14.00 (1/9). The colt looks to have some attitude issues that will need to be fixed come May, but O'Neill's best shot at a Derby repeat lies in Goldencents.

9. Flashback (2.38 points)

He failed his first graded stakes test by tiring himself out down the stretch in the San Felipe, but ran an impressive race nonetheless. The pace was slightly quick the whole way around, and the son of Tapit only lost control by wasting a ton of energy coming towards the wire. he posted a lightning-quick six furlong drill for Bob Baffert on March 25 at Santa Anita, clocking in at 1:11.8 (1/15). He'll face rival Goldencents (among others) again April 6 at Santa Anita in the Grade I Santa Anita Derby.

10. Code West (1.88 points)

Even after a disappointing finish in the Grade II Risen Star Stakes last month at Fair Grounds, Code West has yet to finish out of the money in his career. He'll try and get back into the winners circle Saturday in the Grade II Louisiana Derby. The son of Lemon Drop Kid will face soe tough competition in a pair of Pletcher trainees, Revolutionary and Palace Mailce as well as D. Wayne Lukas' Titletown Five.

First Five (Six) Out

11. Den's Legacy (1.25 points)

T12. Revolutionary (1.125 points)

T12. Tiz A Minister (1.125 points)

T12. Super Ninety Nine (1.125 points)

T13. Falling Sky (1 point)

T13. Hear The Ghost (1 point)

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